Guide to the Records of the Student Governing Board

Collection Title: Records of the Student Governing Board
Dates: 1932-1960
Identification: 31/6/14
Creator: Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Student Governing Board
Extent: 3 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: This series comprises minutes, correspondence, memoranda and reports of the Student Governing Board spanning the years from 1932 to 1960. Also included are scattered reports by SGB committees, SGB brochures, and newspaper clippings from 1941 to 1960. The minutes span the years from 1937 to 1960. Typically, the minutes record discussions of special extracurricular campus events, cheerleaders, the Model United Nations, elections procedures, gambling on campus, cheating on tests, homecoming, and student directory. The minutes are compiled primarily into four bound volumes. Unbound minutes, including those for meetings held prior to 1945, have been arranged chronologically within folders.
The correspondence, memoranda and reports include assessments of SGB performance, treasurers reports and petitions and letters concerning major conflicts in the Board's history. The newspaper clippings, mainly from the Daily Northwestern, provide a look at student reactions to SGB policies as well as a narrative of major events in SGB history.
Provenance: This series (Acc. #82-41) includes materials separated from the Archives' Student Guidance and Counseling Records (Series 30/2) and from the Archives' General Reference Files.
Acquisition Information: This series (Acc. #82-41) includes materials separated from the Archives' Student Guidance and Counseling Records (Series 30/2) and from the Archives' General Reference Files.
Processing Information: Catherine M. Krane; April 13, 1982.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

The Student Governing Board (SGB) of Northwestern University was formed in 1933 with the dual purpose of regulating important campus issues and acting as the executive board of the Evanston Campus Association, a loose confederation of campus activities groups in which all students paying a nominal university fee participated. SGB's two aims initially were to foster better student government and to acquire a large student union building on campus.

The Association became less effective as a central financial and auditing system for campus organizations because of the power of the Board of Supervisors of Student Activities. In 1938 the Board of Supervisors was eliminated and its powers of the purse were given to the SGB.

The duty of the expanded SGB as recorded in its constitution was to “provide the means of responsible and effective student participation in the organization and control of student affairs.” The Board's jurisdiction included control over and arrangement of the social calendar; control of student non-curricular organization, enterprises and events via official recognition powers; supervision and approval of financial budgets of all organizations under SGB control; supervision of elections for class officers; appointment of Board of Publication members and heads of extracurricular enterprises, i.e. homecoming; and the publication of the Student Directory and the Student Handbook.

Prior to 1938, members of the SGB were elected by popular campus vote. From 1938 until 1960, six of the members were elected and six were appointed by major campus groups including Interfraternity Council, Men Off Campus, Men's Interhouse Council, Panhellenic Council, Men Off Campus, and Women's Interhouse Council. Representing a diversity of groups and interests, the SGB became a highly politicized and divided governing body. Further weakening the SGB was its subservience to the Council on Undergraduate Life (CUL), an advisory board to the Administration and the Faculty Senate about extracurricular life of students. The CUL, although theoretically possessing no legislative power, had the final word on all SGB legislation because of a provision in the SGB constitution empowering CUL to revise and revoke SGB decisions and constitutional amendments.

Tension between the SGB and the CUL came to a head in a 1956 dispute over racial and religious discrimination in Greek houses on campus. Chiefly through a combination of factionalization and conflict between the SGB and the CUL, the SGB was rendered impotent. The Student Senate, designed to be more representative of the student body and a less partisan and more powerful governing body, replaced the SGB in 1960.

Scope and Content

This series comprises minutes, correspondence, memoranda and reports of the Student Governing Board spanning the years from 1932 to 1960. Also included are scattered reports by SGB committees, SGB brochures, and newspaper clippings from 1941 to 1960. The minutes span the years from 1937 to 1960. Typically, the minutes record discussions of special extracurricular campus events, cheerleaders, the Model United Nations, elections procedures, gambling on campus, cheating on tests, homecoming, and student directory. The minutes are compiled primarily into four bound volumes. Unbound minutes, including those for meetings held prior to 1945, have been arranged chronologically within folders.

The correspondence, memoranda and reports include assessments of SGB performance, treasurers reports and petitions and letters concerning major conflicts in the Board's history. The newspaper clippings, mainly from the Daily Northwestern, provide a look at student reactions to SGB policies as well as a narrative of major events in SGB history.

Subjects

Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Student Governing Board

Subjects

College student government--Illinois--Evanston

College students--Illinois--Evanston--Societies and clubs


Container List / Contents

  • Student Governing Board Minutes, 1945-1949Box 1, Folder 1
  • Student Governing Board Minutes, 1949-1953Box 1, Folder 2
  • Student Governing Board Minutes, 1953-1956Box 1, Folder 3
  • Student Governing Board Minutes, 1956-1960Box 1, Folder 4
  • Student Governing Board Minutes, 1937-1939Box 2, Folder 1
  • Student Governing Board Minutes, 1940-1942Box 2, Folder 2
  • Student Governing Board Minutes, 1943-1946Box 2, Folder 3
  • Student Governing Board Minutes, 1947-1950Box 2, Folder 4
  • Student Governing Board Minutes, 1951-1954Box 2, Folder 5
  • Student Governing Board Minutes, 1955-1960Box 2, Folder 6
  • Student Governing Board Correspondence, Memoranda and Reports, 1932, 1936, 1938-1942, 1944-1949Box 2, Folder 7
  • Student Governing Board Correspondence, Memoranda and Reports, 1950-1954Box 3, Folder 1
  • Student Governing Board Correspondence, Memoranda and Reports, 1955-1960, n.d.Box 3, Folder 2
  • Student Governing Board Activities and Organizations Directory, 1939-1940Box 3, Folder 3
  • Student Governing Board Course Evaluation CommitteeBox 3, Folder 4
  • Hoover Commission Recommendations, Reports, Rules, 1955-1957, n.d.Box 3, Folder 5
  • Hoover Commission Minutes, 1955-1957Box 3, Folder 6
  • Student Governing Board Spring Conference on Human Relations, May 12, 1954; Human Relations at Northwestern UniversityBox 3, Folder 7
  • Student Governing Board BrochuresBox 3, Folder 8
  • Student Governing Board Clippings, 1941-1954, 1959-1960Box 3, Folder 9